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Welcome return as Cork stalwart and last year's Player of the Year commits to fold for 2017

Bríd Stack has been named on the panel for Sunday’s league clash.

2016 LGFA PLAYER of the Year and seven-time All-Star Bríd Stack has returned to the Cork panel, coming as a huge boost to Ephie Fitzgerald’s side as they enter the business end of the league.

Brid Stack celebrates with Shauna Kelly at the final whistle Tommy Dickson / INPHO Tommy Dickson / INPHO / INPHO

11-time All-Ireland winner Stack has been named in the 30-player panel for this Sunday’s all-important Division 1 National League clash against Galway.

Last weekend, news emerged from the camp that fellow stalwart defender Deirdre O’Reilly had retired from inter-county football.

There had been heightened speculation surrounding Stack’s inter-county future, among others over recent months, and O’Reilly’s departure just intensified rumours that her St Mary’s clubmate would follow suit.

The futures of other Cork veterans including dual duo Briege Corkery and Rena Buckley, as well as Geraldine O’Flynn are still up in the air, with both yet to make a return to the panel this year.

Stack, Corkery, Buckley and O’Reilly all took an extended break from the Cork squad, following their remarkable 11th All-Ireland title in 12 years last September.

Brid Stack Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

This weekend’s encounter with Galway comes as a top-of-the-table clash in Mallow. Both sides have won four games, and suffered one defeat in this league campaign, but Cork sit top on points difference.

Elsewhere in Division 1, Dublin and Mayo will make history in Croke Park as they go head-to-head in the first-ever ladies football league match played at GAA HQ.

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